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High jumper Chaunte Lowe had a shadow in Rio. Her name is Tia Jones and one day wants to be an Olympian _ just like her mentor.
It's part of a program sponsored by TD Ameritrade, where the next generation of athletes are paired with current stars to get a first-hand look at the Summer Games.
Jones is an up-and-comer in the hurdles. The 15-year-old from Marietta, Georgia, has broken several national high school and world junior marks.
She's learned quite a bit from Lowe, who's one of the favorites on Saturday.
"Chaunte has talked about how overwhelming it was when she got to her first Games, and how she didn't know what to expect," Jones said. "I've learned to never give up, especially on days when I am tired. She's also taught me how to keep my goals and aspirations in front of me so I can continue to achieve greatness."
There are four 2020 Summer Games hopefuls involved in the program: Sylvie Binder (fencing), Damion Thomas (track), Jordan Windle (diving) and Jones. They were given guidance, training tips and travel to Rio.
Thomas' mentor was hurdler David Oliver, who didn't compete in Rio. Thomas said he picked up quite a bit from Oliver.
"I have learned from (Oliver) to always work like I am No. 2, and use setbacks as major comebacks," Thomas explained. "From talking with him and watching him compete, I've also noted the importance of staying humble with myself and competitors.
"Having the opportunity to go to Rio inspired me to continue to be the best athlete I can be. I want to compete at the Games in 2020 and wear my country's colors with pride. My experience in Rio is getting me one step closer to my goals."
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